Will iPod Touch Revive the PDA Market?

I don’t know if anyone noticed but this week Hewlett Packard announced 5 new PDAs based on the Windows PDA OS:

The new iPAQ 210 Enterprise Handheld, iPAQ 110 Classic Handheld, iPAQ 910 Business Messenger, iPAQ 610 Business Navigator, and the iPAQ 310 Travel Companion are HP’s ammunition in what appears to be a serious go at resurrecting foundering (and neglected) once very successful mobile-device business.

[img]http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u139/gtroyal/ipaq_business.jpg[/img] I am sure this is very useful for the corporate road warrior or a very conscientious auditor/accountant type. (but I would question the wisdom of launching on top of any Apple presentation). There is a smart phone (Business Navigator), some traditional Palm type PDAs and a Tom Tom type portable device (Travel Companion). Corporate warrior tools don’t exactly strike the imagination. They are purely functional and their bland exteriors belay their utilitarian purpose of tying oneself to the corporate machine, a constant reminder of the staid existence of cubicle world. Frankly like most launches of Windows based products it is as exciting as the release of a GAP statement. Contrast with the almost manic coverage of the new iPod Touch, the question is why the difference? The difference is in the fundamental view of what personal devices are. While I paint a dull (zune like) brown staid existence of the cubicle world that the Windows PDA exemplifies, the new Apple iPod Touch characteristics the youthful optimism of sharing and social. [img]http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u139/gtroyal/ipod_touch_2.jpg[/img] As humans we are social animals and we are characterized by participation and sharing. Where as the HP iPAQ is about personal productivity, the iPod Touch is about content and sharing. It more closely aligns with the social self. This of course leads us down the path of not only You tube, but My Space, Facebook, twitter etc etc. Tools that are explicitly designed for sharing and building. It is not going to take very long for the iPod Touch and iPhone to be enabled to support the hot social networking tools and turn into a pivot point for the myspace and facebook generations. If you can integrate the music and video content of the iPod part of the iPhone/iPod Touch, maybe sharing partial or free content such as music videos around the iPod experience. Another thought is that now iTunes Wireless is available, can we share the playlists in the same way we do on Macs now ? can we share the latest episode of Desperate Housewives or blog about the latest Lindsay Lohan incident (not me but I can imagine someone wanting to do that). [img]http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u139/gtroyal/LindsayLohan1024_2.jpg[/img] [gratuitous Linday Lohan shot] To answer my own question, the iPod Touch may have ushered in an entirely new market for consumer based PDAs or Social Digital Assistants (SDA).

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